Last year when I was in Palermo, my cousin Silvana and I came across a shop in the historic center filled with various instruments. It wasn’t a music store… maybe a tailor shop? Anyway, the gentleman proprietor played mandolin for us. I took pictures of him and of all of the instruments I could. This oud was one of my subjects. This oud however, is somewhat of an anomaly. Firstly, oud is not considered a Sicilian instrument, but that’s not so odd–this is modern Italy, after all (He also had an American guitar.). What is though, is that an oud shaped like a pear like this one is (known as a oud kumethra), isn’t so common. After looking around the internet, I learned it’s most likely from Egypt. All this is to say, that happening upon this instrument, right next to a traditional Sicilian tamburello (tambourine) and all of the other more-expected instruments, is another wonderful example of the mixing of cultures that happens in Palermo!